James Agee and the Legend of Himself A Critical Study

by Alan Spiegel

James Agee and the Legend of Himself A Critical Study Synopsis

James Agee's literary reputation has grown enormously since his death in 1955. He wrote novels, short stories, poetry, film criticism, screenplays, and investigative journalism, but these accomplishments earned him only a modest public reputation during his brief life. Ironically, Agee's greatest recognition as a writer came posthumously, when his novel A Death in the Family won the Pulitzer Prize. In James Agee and the Legend of Himself, Alan Spiegel examines these accomplishments and treats Agee not simply as a celebrity, journalist, or Depression writer but as a self-interrogating literary artist who created a homemade legend from his earliest family memories, sifting his experience through an automythology composed of his mother, his father, and himself.

James Agee and the Legend of Himself A Critical Study Press Reviews

A wonderfully thoughtful and sensitive reading of a difficult and demanding American writer. Spiegel is a balanced observer of writing that can all too easily seduce or provoke readers to idolatrous awe or angry disapproval. . . . An important contribution to an understanding of a much celebrated writer. --Robert Coles A wonderfully thoughtful and sensitive reading of a difficult and demanding American writer. Spiegel is a balanced observer of writing that can all too easily seduce or provoke readers to idolatrous awe or angry disapproval. . . . An important contribution to an understanding of a much celebrated writer. Robert Coles

Book Information

ISBN: 9780826211828
Publication date: 31st July 1998
Author: Alan Spiegel
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 320 pages
Categories: Biography: general, Literary studies: from c 1900 -,

About Alan Spiegel

Alan Spiegel is a member of the English faculty and Director of the Graduate Humanities Program at the State University of New York in Buffalo. He is the author of Fiction and the Camera Eye: Visual Consciousness in Film and the Modern Novel.

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